Regina Maiseviciute
Regina is a Global Food & Drink Analyst. As part of the analyst team she provides insights on product innovation, trends and packaging and market developments globally.

While a popular drink in the country, Polish consumer attitudes towards sweet and sparkling soft drinks are changing, especially due to increasing health consciousness. According to new Mintel consumer research, three quarters (76%) of Polish consumers say that manufacturers should do more to reduce the sugar in carbonated soft drinks (CSDs).

Three quarters of Polish consumers say that manufacturers should do more to reduce the sugar in carbonated soft drinks

Despite these concerns, an element of indulgence is still driving the consumption of and interest in CSDs. For manufacturers, this means that flavours can become an important point of differentiation, helping to engage with consumers. Flavour innovations can further stimulate interest in this category and allow the targeting of different consumer groups.

Flavours can help CSD brands to engage with Millennials

In Poland, CSDs are dominated by traditional flavours, such as cola or orange, which reflects consumer preferences. However, Millennials are commonly known for their experimental nature and interest in more unusual, exotic flavours, and their opinions are no different when it comes to CSDs. Millennials show interest in a range of flavours, be it exotic or unusual flavours such as passion fruit or elderflower, or new and different flavour combinations, like cola and orange. Even berry flavours such as blueberry peak their interest. Alcohol flavoured soft drinks are also on the wish list of Millennials. This suggests considerable room for innovating around new flavour profiles.

Polish CSDs can use more botanicals and herbs for healthier and exotic options

There is limited choice of uniquely flavoured CSDs in Poland at the moment. Looking to the future, Polish CSD producers can consider taking inspiration from other European launches. Currently, flavours developed around herbs and flowers are more popular in Europe than in any other region.

While botanical extracts appear to appeal to Polish consumers, there has been little product development in this area so far. Exploring herbal and botanical ingredients can not only allow brands to offer more unique flavours, but also appeal to those consumers who are looking for CSDs containing healthier and more natural ingredients. Elderflower, gentian, roses, chamomile, sage, mint and basil are just a few examples of ingredients that can provide CSDs with more distinct flavours and healthier profiles. This also aligns with one of Mintel’s 2017 Global Food & Drinks trends ‘Power to The Plants’, which showcases the aspirations for healthier and cleaner lifestyles are motivating consumers to prioritise fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and botanicals.

Recent Polish CSD launches using interesting combinations and botanicals

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                 Krynica Vitamin                                                                         Browar Jana                                                                     Moon Brothers
                        Mito mix                                                                                Hopiniada Lemonia

Regina Maiseviciute Haydon is a Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, based in London. As a part of the Mintel Food and Drink analyst team, she provides insights on product innovation, consumer trends and packaging and market developments globally. Regina brings over 15 years of experience working in leading market research and strategic analysis agencies, where she has provided insights and strategic recommendations to leading global FMCG organisations and packaging manufacturers, retailers and governmental bodies within Europe and also globally.